Bassett Breaks Through For First Win
Drives Away With K&N Pro East Opener at New Smyrna
|Ronnie Bassett celebrates in Victory Lane at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway|
following his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win Sunday night.
A year after coming up just short at New Smyrna Speedway, Ronnie Bassett Jr. walked away with the Jet Tools 150 Sunday night for his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory.
In his 40th career start, Bassett led the final 42 laps – the first laps he’s led in the series – and out-distanced runner-up Zane Smith by 3.563 seconds.
Bassett started seventh and by Lap 108 had moved the No. 04 Bassett Gutters and More Ford to the front. He used a strong restart to pass his brother Dillon Bassett for the race lead.
Short list of winning #KNEast brothers; Jeff & Rick Fuller, @MartinTruex_Jr & @Ryan_Truex and @Dillon_Wayne44 & @RonnieBassett04.— Pro Series Scene (@ProSeriesScene) February 20, 2017
“I was just watching the restarts,” said Ronnie Bassett, “and I picked a spot in the two lines, and I went after it, and I guess my brother spun his tires a little bit.”
Bassett finished third at New Smyrna last season and is the only driver that was entered into Sunday’s race that has competed in all four series visits to the Florida half-mile.
“We work extremely hard to make these race cars good every weekend,” Ronnie Bassett said. “We’ve had some good runs. We’ve finished second, third, fourth and fifth, but we’ve just never been able to capture the deal, and tonight, I guess was our night and we were able to get it done.”
Smith, making his NASCAR K&N Pro Series debut, was fastest overall in practice but had to start his No. 43 Diamondback Towing Toyota in the 25th position after his qualifying run was disallowed for an infraction.
“The car was good,” Smith said. “Still mad at myself for the qualifying deal, but I cannot thank everyone enough for all they did getting this thing on rails, and I really think if we were able to start up front, it’d be a different story.”
Derek Kraus, Harrison Burton and Travis Cope rounded out the top five. Earlier in the day, Burton captured his second 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co.
Reid Wilson finished sixth, followed by Hunter Baize, Chase Purdy, Todd Gilliland and Spencer Davis.
On this day one year ago, @ToddGilliland_ took his first K&N East victory after an epic battle and a last lap that didn't count. 🏁 #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/x4H5ARMgFJ— The Caution Clock ⚠️ (@CautionClock20) February 15, 2017
Gilliland, the defending race winner, blew a tire on Lap 103 while leading. Davis, who qualified second, was penalized on the opening lap for jumping the race’s initial start. Dillon Bassett led a race-high 79 laps but finished 24th after being involved in a late-race accident.
Well, I'm very proud of our @NAPARacing @BMR_NASCAR team we where fast but blew a RF while leading. 23rd to 9th in 30 laps. No one gave up. pic.twitter.com/Y7bbLCX5SB— Todd Gilliland (@ToddGilliland_) February 20, 2017
The Jet Tools 150 will air on NBCSN on Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m.
Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is the Kevin Whitaker 150 at South Carolina’s Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday, April 8.
|Ronnie Bassett led the final 42 laps en route to winning Sunday's Jet Tools 150|
for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway.
RACE STATISTICSFastest Qualifier: Harrison Burton, Time: 18.348 Seconds, Speed: 94.179 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 9 mins, 11 secs Average Speed: 62.443 mph Margin of Victory: 3.563 Seconds
- Laps 25-29 (#38 Spin - No FP);
- Laps 45-49 (#39 Spin Turn 4 - FP #36);
- Laps 76-79 (Break - FP #38);
- Laps 103-107 (#16 Turn 1 - FP #38);
- Laps 116-120 (#36, #38, #49, #9 Backstretch - FP #16);
- Laps 122-125 (#44, #30, #2, #36 - Turn 1 - No FP).
- Harrison Burton 1-8,
- Dillon Bassett 9-80,
- Todd Gilliland 81-101,
- Dillon Bassett 102-108,
- Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 109-150.
Total Laps Led:
- Dillon Bassett 79,
- Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 42,
- Todd Gilliland 21,
- Harrison Burton 8.
Top 10 Driver Points:
- Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 47
- Zane Smith * 42
- Derek Kraus * 41
- Harrison Burton 41
- Travis Cope * 39
- Reid Wilson * 38
- Hunter Baize 37
- Chase Purdy * 36
- Todd Gilliland 36
- Spencer Davis 34
* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
To be disappointed with 4th shows the strength of this team we can do better https://t.co/aQs720uCrO— Harrison Burton (@HBurtonRacing) February 20, 2017
Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images